Our love for cars and bikes are often well documented. And then there are people who hit the like button to the pictures of huge ‘foreign’ trucks; and there are others who love to click buses. Yes, regular passenger buses!
While as a child playing with bus-toys was one thing, for this school teacher, buses are his “first love”. Man behind the popular Facebook page A-Bus Lover, Abir Saha is an MSc IT who fans and tracks buses – mostly running in Assam and nearby areas.
A-Bus Lover is a Facebook page run by Abir Saha which hosts beautiful pictures of luxury buses operating in the region, along with information on their route, timing and booking details. Often ‘exclusive’ photos and information are shared on the Facebook page which enables others to keep a tab on the luxury bus industry of the region.
Belonging to Bijni, a small town near Bongaigaon in Assam, Saha has been tracking buses since childhood. “Back then I didn’t have a camera to take photographs. Besides, being from Lower Assam, I was unable to see good luxury buses on the road because this part of Assam wasn’t well serviced by them. Most luxury buses ply to Upper Assam towns and I always grabbed the opportunity to travel to those areas,” said Abir Saha who now teaches computer science at a government high school.
Speaking about his beginning as a bus fan, Saha mentioned that owing to poor financial background he couldn’t purchase a camera. “I started clicking photos of buses since 2007. I used to travel to Guwahati twice-thrice a year and click photos. Bus fanning started with full bloom from 2013 onwards with mobile photography. During that time, I was not aware of Facebook page or blog. Gradually I came in touch with social media and then I knew where I can share the photos,” he added.
Saha added that during that time he didn’t know of bus fanning as a hobby. “I loved looking at buses and that was that. I was not aware of the term bus fanning and nor that I was a bus fan. When buses come in front of my eyes, I ignore all other things, and admire the beauty,” he said.
“Initial days of bus fanning were not easy as I was not having contacts with any owner,” he said adding, “Days passed and I went on making contacts with most of the luxury bus owners of Assam along with bus builders. I am happy that I have good relations with premium brands like Scania which is trying to foray into the region.”
Saha now operates a WhatsApp group which has owners of many luxury bus services and bus builders, AC dealers, seat manufacturers, bus designers as its members.
Giving details of the Facebook page, Saha said that he started the blog and the page in early 2016. “Almost 90 per cent of the photographs are clicked by me. I feel proud that I was one of the first such bus fan from the region who is trying to promote the bus world of Assam. I am managing everything personally…this is my hobby,” he said.
On perks of knowing top bosses from the industry, Saha said that although he is not making any money from his hobby, he is happy that many people are supporting and encouraging him. “I must thank Tushar Sood, MD of Deep Travels, Tuhin Dhara and Mriganka Bora, who helped me a lot in reaching the current stage,” he said adding that several big bus operators of the region provide him free travel opportunities which keeps him motivated.
“I have not earned any money from this. This is my passion so never thought of income through it. But I must mention that several big operators offered me free journey through out Northeast and I am thankful for that,” he signed off.